OPEN ALL NIGHT
ALBUM BLUE STAR RELEASE: MARCH 29, 1999 REVIEW: JUNE 11, 1999
"Loneliness is a cloak you wear/A deep shade of blue is always there", Scott
Walker crooned in the sixties Walker Brothers hit "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine
Anymore". Marc Almond doesn't seem as devastatingly lonely now as on the
1985 album "Stories of Johnny", but the blue shade is as present as always,
just like in the works of his hero Scott Walker.
"Open All Night" is Almond's first album on his own Blue Star label. It is
also a huge step away from his latest album, the very poppy and glam rocky
"Fantastic Star" from 1996. On "Open All Night", Almond replaces cocky T-Rex
riffs with slow, pulsating Portishead beats and gentle jazz. But unlike some
other artists that takes on "trip hop", he manages to incorporate the new
influences excellently, and still maintain a core that is unmistakably HIM.
This is displayed perfectly in the singles "Black Kiss" and "Tragedy (Take a
Look and See)". They're calmer, more mature, if I dare use that word, but
still classical Marc Almond, both in lyrical imagery and mood.
other highlights is the painfully beautiful "Almost Diamonds", a duet with
Kelly Ali of the Sneaker Pimps. In "Threat of Love", Siouxsie Sioux and
Budgie of The Creatures add passionate vocals and percussion. The fabulous
"My Love" tiptoes as gently as Dusty Springfield's "Son of a Preacher Man",
and is built around a fantastic harmonica. "Bad People Kiss" sounds like a
shortwave transmission of tormented Billie Holiday style jazz. And, with the
exception of the slightly tedious title track, almost the whole rest of the
album is just as stunning.